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A most vile and hateful lie in Joan Wheeler’s book Forbidden Family December 25, 2009

Posted by Ruth in Lies in the book Forbidden Family.
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 On page 302 in her book, Joan Wheeler says the following about me, “At one point in her life, she claimed to want children and even went through infertility tests with her previous boyfriend. Just as well she didn’t get pregnant because she said she didn’t know how anyone could do it.”

 First of all, this statement is another one of Joan’s contradictions. She says I “claimed” I wanted to get pregnant. This statement suggests that I had lied and that I did NOT want to have children. Joan continues, “..even went through infertility tests with her previous boyfriend.” Well, which is it Joan? Did I want kids or NOT? If I did, then of course, I would go through tests, as you admit in your book. Then why the phrase ” she ‘claimed'”? Then she says, in a very disgusting, not very professional way, “Just as well she didn’t get pregnant because she said she didn’t know how anyone could do it.” How could any one say this about ANYONE, let alone her birth sister, who she claims over and over in her book that she never did anything to do? How inhuman and what a filthy thing to say.

Second part of the phrase, I said I didn’t know how anyone could do it, referes to a conversational thing. For example, my one girlfriend has said to me many times, “I don’t know how you do your job (empty bedpans of sick people in the hospital).” Well, you just do. Same thing when I said that statement. And by the way, I would know how to do it. I’m not stupid. I took care of my oldest sister’s kids when she worked a job and went thru night school. In 1973, I moved back to my dad’s house to help out with the kids. In early 1974 when my stepmother was in the hospital for over a month, I was the adult woman in the house (and working full time night shift). I took care of my 2 and a half year brother, and my two stepsisters, ages 14 and 7. I made them breakfast and sent them off to school. Made lunch for them when they came for lunch. Got them started with their homework and when my dad came home from work, I went to sleep for a few hours then went to my job. And took care of a two year old all day long. And had another 2 year old, son of a nurse, who worked the 3pm – 11pm shift, from about 1 in the afternoon to about 4, when her other babysitter got out of school and could come and get him. And this nurse, to this day, is still one of my friends as well as her son.

But to get back to Joan’s hateful remarks about me and my wanting children. On page 260, she is relating events in the year 1986. She says that I was having problems because my Arab boyfriend broke up with me, and now I was dating a black man. First, she never got my permission to write about my personal information. But since she has been publicizing my information, Joan completely “forgets” to tell you about my miscarriage on June 5, 1985. My Arab “boyfriend” and I had lived together for 10 years. He was NOT my boyfriend, he was my husband. We were not legally married, but we were married in our hearts and in everything we did. When we met people, I did not introduce him as my “boyfriend”, but as my husband, and he referred to me as his wife.

In the Arab culture, he had an arranged marriage when he was still a teenager. They married in 1971. In 1973, he came to America for a better job. He had always planned to bring his wife and his baby son and toddler daughter over here. In 1975, he met me. And fell in love. He never loved his wife. He hardly knew her. But he respected her. While we were together, he sent money for their support. And in 1979, went back to Yemen to divorce her so he could legally marry me. He stayed in Yemen for a year.

In 1980, he came back to me, with his divorce papers. We did not get married, because at this time, he began to have a drinking problem. This was due to the fact that his baby son had died while he was in Yemen. We discussed this (Joan, were you there during our private conversations? No? Then how do you know I merely claimed to want children?) We decided that we wanted children of our own and we did want to get married. He got a job at Worthington Compresser, and we moved to an apartment that was closer to his new job. We began saving our money to pay for our wedding. But I was having doubts because of his drinking. Then he got laid off and took a job in an Arab grocery store, working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

We were working on our problems, and we were trying to have a baby. I was tired of my job, emptying bedpans and wanted something better. I had no money for school tuition or time. I wanted to go to Cosmetology school. And we wanted a child. ABDO changed his address to a friend’s house a few blocks away from us. If I were to get pregnant, I could then go on welfare, get help for living expenses, go to cosmetologly school, and then get a job as a beautician. This is what the welfare program is designed for, to help people get out of poverty, and get a good job. (by the way, I’m still emptying bedpans, and the pay is much, much better than it used to be. Due to union reforms, etc. I am happy where I am).

Well, we tried to get pregnant, it wasn’t happening. My cousin was also having problems getting pregnant. She and I both had a hysterosalpingogram, and both our HUSBANDS (hers legally and by love, mine, by love),  had sperm count and motility tests. We did not go to any fertility clinic, as Joan claims that I did in her book. We were working with our gynacologists. My cousin told me of her doctor, and recommended I go to her. I had nothing against the doctor I was seeing, in fact, he was a gem. Held me when I cried, when another month went by and I wasn’t pregnant. But for some reason, all my life, I am more comfortable with a woman doctor. In fact, today, ALL my doctors are women.

By 1985, Abdo’s drinking was getting worse. He felt useless. He hated his job. He tried to go to school, but although he could speak English fluently, he couldn’t read it. He couldn’t understand the textbooks. And in March of 1985, his mother in Yemen died. He made plans to go back to Yemen. He told me he wasn’t sure if he would come back to Buffalo. His family needed him. His parents were both dead, he was the oldest son. Who would take care of his younger brothers and sisters? In May of 1985, he left me to take care of his family.

All through the month of May, after he left, I had some vaginal spotting. I was in middle of changing doctors. My previous doctor was on vacation, and my appointment with my new doctor was not until the second week of June. I wasn’t having any pain, so I wasn’t worried. I had some spotting before. By the begininng of June, I noticed a lump in the middle of the right side of my abdomen, and I started bleeding heavy. I called my girlfreind, she came over and told me I looked pale and took me into the hospital. I almost passed out in the emergency room. They admitted me under the care of my new doctor, who was informed by telephone who I was and what happened.

The following morning, (a Sunday) I had emergency surgery. Joan was in the waiting room with my friend, who had called her to tell her what happened. While I was in the recovery room, Dr. Trini B. told Francine and Joan that I had just had a miscarriage. She told them not to tell me, she wanted to tell me herself. Francine told me that while I was being put into my room, and she and Joan waited outside in the hallway, Joan asked her, “should we tell her she lost a baby?” Francine said, “Joan, the doctor said NOT to tell her.”

I was about 6 weeks pregnant, it was an ectopic pregancy and I was brought to the hospital just in time. An ectopic pregancy is one where the fertilized egg gets stuck in the falopian tube. The baby grows and when it gets to the point where the tube cannot accomodate the fetus, the tube explodes and there is internal bleeding. Many women DIE from this. I was one of the lucky ones. But my son was not lucky. He DIED. (I know in my heart it was a boy). Does Joan care that my son DIED and I almost DIED? Apparently not from the statement she makes that I “claimed” to want children. And she was there!!!! SHE was the one who drove me home from the hospital a few days later!!!! And again, she doesn’t want to tell her book readers how in the early 80’s when I was trying to get pregnant, I had several books on pregancy, breastfeeding, childrearing. I loaned her those books when she got pregnant in 1983. And had a hell of a time getting them back!

She says several other times in the book that I am jealous of her because she had children. Why would I be jealous if I had only “claimed” to want children and I wouldn’t know how anyone could do it? But this is another contradiction on Joan’s part. She can’t seem to make up her mind what she wants to write about me and the issue of me getting pregnant and wanting children. She correctly relates that in the summer of 1985, she and I took her 18 month old son to outings to the beach. (page 253).  But does she say in her book who drove her and her new born daughter home from the hospital in October 1986? It was me! Why would I consent to this if I was jealous of her? I was suffering from depression from losing my son, but loved Joan enough and loved her children enough to drive the new baby girl home, and still go on outings to the beach.

I was able to this, because I had the whole summer of off work due to my recovery of surgery and miscarriage. I had just lost my son, but still loved her son. How was I jealous then? BUT, I WAS having problems. I was now single, I lost the child I was trying for 4 years to have. I did not have the emotional support of my son’s father. I told him over the phone, and he broke down crying. He had lost another son. But does Joan care ANYTHING about the pain that Abdo and I went through? NO!

Abdo ended up staying in Yemen for 9 years. During that time, his drinking problems increased. His cousin Mohamed, went to Yemen for a visit in 1986 and told me that Abdo was now drinking whiskey straight from the bottle, not even cutting it with soda or ice. By the time Abdo came to Buffalo in 1994, he had developed diabetes, had lost all his teeth. In 1999, he had a small stroke, and was in the hospital (where I worked) for over a month. He did not learn a very valuable lesson. He continued drinking and smoking. He went back to Yemen on July 4 2003, for his daughter’s (from his first wife) wedding. On August 19, he had another stroke and died at the age of 49.

Now first you must understand. Back in the 1970’s when Abdo and I were together, we met a wonderful young lady. Francine. She was dating Abdo’s younger stepbrother. But then she met an older man, John. They moved in together and lived together for 6 years. The four of us, Abdo and me, Fran and John were inseparable. There was never any kind of “wife swapping,” but we were all very close. From 1978, John and Fran were my best friends. In 1983, Fran and John broke up. On July 1, 1985, I had already made plans to move into a new apartment, but couldn’t do any lifting because of my miscarriage and surgery. John and Francine came to my aid. As well as the sons of one of my cousins. They all helped me move. John helped me that first summer of 1985, where I didn’t have the emotional support of my son’s father. By 1986, our friendship developed into romantic love. In May of 1987, we moved in together. In 1996, we bought the house we were living in off our landlord. In 2002, we got married. We had some rocky moments, but we are still together, 22 years strong. If anyone is jealous of anybody, it is Joan, who is jealous of me, because of my strong relationships with both my husbands.

When Abdo came back to Buffalo in 1994, we did not get back together, because I was now with John. I love John. But there will ALWAYS be a part in my heart that belongs to Abdo, and John knows this. John also loved Abdo, as a brother,  and broke down and cried when I told him Abdo died. (Abdo’s cousin Shawqi had come to our house to tell me). The years that John and I didn’t have a car, Abdo would loan us his. A couple of times he would come by with a couple of six-packs of beer, and watch the Buffalo Sabres hockey games with John, while I went grocery shopping.

By the way, when Abdo came back to Buffalo in 1994 and learned about Joan’s antics, he also wanted to punch her in the mouth. Joan certainly has a way with people. She somehow always manages to turn them against her. But she won’t take responsibility for her actions. It’s always SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT! or it’s MY fault. All thru her book whenever something goes wrong in her life, or somebody writes her a nasty letter, or calls her on the phone, IT IS MY FAULT! Every other page, it’s Brenda badmouthed me. Brenda did  it. Brenda Brenda Brenda. Is this a book about her adoption or her hate for me?

Joan says on page 379 when she tells about Abdo’s death, “I was sad for Brenda, but she had Larry for almost 20 years.” I don’t understand this sentance. What does one have to do with the other? The father of my son was dead. He was my first love. Yes, I love my husband John, (Larry in her book), but this has nothing to do with it. And I will tell you now, as I told Joan then, 2003 was a horrible year. On July 21, John’s grandfather died. July 28, his mother died. On August 4, my cousin died. On August 19, my ex-husband and still good friend died. On September 1, my brother died. Does Joan feel anything about the losses I was going thru? NO. All she cares about is whining in her book how I cut her pictures out of my photo albums.

And now I will you WHY I cut them out and wanted her OUT of my life for all time! By early 1987, it was clear that I was not coping with the loss of my son. I would break down in tears if John and I were shopping and I we walked thru the baby department. A mother with her baby would walk past me, and I would start to cry. I started drinking. But I saw what was happening to me. I quit drinking, and arranged to see a counselor.

In the summer of 1985, Joan had written an editorial to the newspaper about surrogate mothers. She ended that editorial with the following sentance: “Infertile couples should look to their selfish reasons as to why they want a child.” I was so hurt. I didn’t realize that I was being “selfish,” when all I wanted to do was what Mother Nature gives to the animal and plant kingdoms: THE ABILITY TO REPRODUCE! I felt betrayed. On the surface, Joan was all nice to me. We were still going to the beach together with her toddler son, just weeks after I lost my son, and here behind my back, she was writing editorials and saying infertile women were selfish!

In early 1987, Joan went to an adoption conference in Philadelphia. John and I found the house we were moving to. I was in the middle of packing. After her editorial, I didn’t trust her anymore. I hadn’t even told her that John and I were moving in together. But the day she got back from Philadelphia, she called me on the phone. All full of talk of her conference. She even threw in the comment that there were representatives of infertile couples there. I told her. “Joan, I don’t want to talk about this.” “oh, but Ruth, it was such an enlightening conference. I learned so much about the psychology of adopted people.” “Joan, I don’t want to talk about this. I have an appointment in 3 weeks to see a counselor because of my depression of losing my son.” “Oh, but Ruth, I learned so much about inferility. The people at the conference….” “JOAN, I SAID I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS, IT’S TOO PAINFUL! After I go for counseling about my depression, perhaps I will feel like talking, but I don’t want to right now.” Did she LISTEN TO ME? NO!! She then said “Oh, but Ruth, I know much more about infertility than you think I do.” Oh really? NOBODY WHO HAS NOT LOST A CHILD COULD EVER KNOW HOW ABOUT INFERTILITY. AND ANY CHILD’S LOSE AT ANY AGE, IS WITH YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. TO THIS DAY I MOURN MY SON. DOES JOAN CARE ABOUT THAT? HELL NO!!

I didn’t say another word to her on the phone. I slammed down the phone and unplugged it. Crying hysterically, I drove over to John’s house. “That bitch. I oughta to punch her lights out,” was John’s reaction. When I moved, I had my mail forwarded to a friend’s house in Lackawanna, so Joan couldn’t find me.

next part: Joan stalks me, trying to find me, and calls repeatedly to my work leaving messages. talks to a supervisor at my job and tells her my personal information, steals money from me, and tries to break me and John up.



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